update deskIsrael at War

MKs back civilians suspected of murdering Hamas terrorist on Oct. 7

The criminal case has been under investigation for several months but did not become public until a gag order was lifted.

Palestinian terrorists in a stolen IDF vehicle at the Erez Crossing between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.
Palestinian terrorists in a stolen IDF vehicle at the Erez Crossing between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

Israeli lawmakers from across the political spectrum gave their backing on Sunday to three Israelis suspected of murdering a Gazan terrorist who infiltrated the Jewish state during the Oct. 7 massacre.

The criminal case has been under investigation for several months but did not become public until Thursday night, when the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court eased a gag order and ordered two of the suspects released to house arrest.

The three civilians—a discharged soldier, a United Hatzalah volunteer medic, both in their 20s, and an older individual—met up after they made their way to southern Israel to fight on the morning of Oct. 7.

According to the police account cited, the suspects detained a member of Hamas’s elite Nukhba Force, questioned him and executed him at the end of the interrogation.

Haaretz cited sources familiar with the case as saying that the body of the armed Palestinian terrorist was discovered in the Sha’ar HaNegev region, near the northeastern Gaza Strip.

However, defense lawyers said the suspects deny all charges, stressing that their clients risked their lives to save civilians and are being prosecuted for killing a terrorist who took part in the massacre.

Benny Gantz, head of the opposition National Unity Party, said on Sunday that “anyone who dared to cross the border [from Gaza] that day was sentenced to death. All of them posed a clear and immediate danger.”

“In this situation of chaos, surprise and guerilla fighting for many hours, we must give a broad backing and full support to those who are fighting—soldier, policeman or citizen,” wrote Gantz on X. “This is our duty towards those who saved human lives and protected our country, and I believe that the law enforcement system will also act in this spirit.”

The former War Cabinet member emphasized that he did not see the evidence supporting the case and that he “trusts law enforcement officials.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) said, “It would be better for the state attorney to remember that he is the attorney of the State of Israel, and not of its enemies.”

He added that prosecutor Amit Aisman, who recently asked to open a probe into Ben-Gvir over allegations of “incitement” against Gazans, also ordered the “crazy investigation against three heroic fighters who on October 7 went out to fight in the hell of the Gaza border area.”

Almog Cohen, another legislator from Otzma Yehudit, told 103FM Radio: “The people of Israel came [to the south] in all their glory because they understood a horrid massacre was taking place. And to come and judge?

“The police understand firsthand what would have happened if citizens who went down to the south were not there,” said the MK, who worked as a police officer in the Negev for more than a decade.

fundraiser in support of the suspects by the right-wing Torat Lehima group over the weekend exceeded its goal of 120,000 shekels (over $32,500), with donations topping some 150,000 shekels on Sunday night.

On Tuesday morning, right-wing activists are preparing to hold a rally outside the Samaria home of one of the murder suspects. “The people of Israel come to welcome the fighter Sa’ar Ofir on his way back from house arrest and thank him,” read the invitation distributed on social media.

“At 9 a.m. at the entrance to the town of Elkana in Samaria, Tuesday, 9.7, 3 Tammuz. The prosecutor’s office claims he is a murderer. The people of Israel declare that he is a hero,” added the flyer.

Some 3,000 Gazan terrorists, from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and unaffiliated “civilians,” infiltrated the Jewish state on Oct. 7. The security forces killed approximately a thousand of the terrorists and captured many others.

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